Fire Risk Assessments & Fire Hazard Analysis

Fire Hazard Analysis

The objectives of conducting FHA are to:

  • 1) Provide opportunities to reduce the risks from fire hazards.
  • 2) Provide an understanding of the scale, intensity and duration of credible fires.
  • 3) Provide a dynamic picture of the fire hazards as a capital project design evolves.
  • 4) Identify the impact of fires on operating personnel, plant equipment, and facilities.
  • 5) Provide a process and tools to optimise the design to minimise fire severity.
  • 6) Define the performance of Safety Critical Design Measures (SCDM), which control or mitigate the effects of fires.

Safety critical design measure (SCDM)

Those safety systems, devices, and controls which are designed to prevent, detect, control, or mitigate a major accident, or facilitate the escape and survival of people.

Prevention

Design measures to prevent a major accident through effective monitoring and process safety systems, with automatic executive action to remedy abnormal plant behavior where appropriate.

Control

These are the active and passive measures to prevent escalation of a major accident and to bring the plant to a stable condition over a defined time period without operator intervention. Operator intervention should be possible, but not relied upon to carry out essential incident control.

Mitigation

These are measures that provide reliable protection for personnel and critical equipment or structure from the effects of a major accident. It is often through barriers, structural strength and active fire protection.

Undertaking a fire risk assessment

In the UK it is a legal requirement for a fire risk assessment to be carried out on almost all premises where people could be working.

A Fire Safety Risk Assessment looks at your premises, what activities are carried out there, the potential for a fire to occur and the harm it could cause.

The Fire Safety Risk Assessment process has been developed to identify hazards and to reduce the risk of those hazards causing harm. It also helps to determine what fire safety measures and management policies are necessary to ensure the safety of people in the building, should a fire occur.

There are five steps in the assessment process

1. Identify the people at risk

An assessment should be made of those persons at risk from fire. This involves identifying the number and capability of people residing, occupying or working on the premises and others who frequent the premises such as visitors, customers or contractors.

2. Identify the fire hazards

Identify the ignition sources, fuel and oxygen. By reducing unattended ignition sources and combustible materials that could come into contact with each other, the chances of a fire starting are reduced. Ensuring that fire doors are kept closed and in a good state of repair can limit air flow into the location of any fire.

3. Evaluate the risk and decide if existing fire safety measures are adequate

Measures should then be introduced to reduce the severity of the risk to people through Risk Reduction Principles.

These Principles are required by Law and are:

  • Avoiding risks
  • Evaluating those risks that cannot be avoided
  • Combating risks at source
  • Adapting to technical progress
  • Replacing the dangerous with non- or less dangerous
  • Developing a coherent fire prevention policy
  • Giving collective fire safety measures over individual measures
  • Giving appropriate instruction to employees

4. Record the Fire Risk Assessment information

Certain circumstances require that the significant findings of the Fire Risk Assessment are recorded. These circumstances are:

  • Where there are 5 or more employees (in the same premises or not)
  • Where the premises are subject to a licence or registration
  • Where an Alterations Notice under the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 requires this

The information that is required to be recorded includes:

  • Any significant findings from the Fire Risk Assessment
  • The resulting fire safety measures implemented
  • Those persons who are especially at risk
  • Arrangements put in place for the effective planning, organisation, control, monitoring and reviewing of the arrangements that have been put in place

This information should then be kept available for inspection by the enforcing authority- in most cases this is the local fire and rescue service.

5. Review of Fire Risk Assessment

A review of the Fire Risk Assessment should be carried out at regular intervals. It should be carried out where the findings of a previous Fire Risk Assessment are felt to be out of date.

This may be because:

  • A long period of time has elapsed since the previous Fire Risk Assessment
  • There has been a significant change to the premises, or the processes within the premises, that may affect the validity of the previous Assessment

Clearwater nominated fire risk assessors pride themselves on having expertise of the highest standards, and are supported by the rest of the company who can provide expert advice on almost all aspects of fire safety when needed. By using Clearwater, you are therefore sure that you will be given the best advice and receive the most cost effective solutions.